Successful small businesses are owned and run by any number of types of people. Some people are great with numbers, others excel at the social side of things, and others are great team builders and leaders.
There are many ways to be successful as a small business owner, but there are also certain traits and tendencies that will make it easier to succeed.
When you run your own business, there’s no one to stop you from sleeping in and not getting your work done. It’s up to you to get up every day, go to work, get all the various pieces of your company up and running, and get your team in place.
Successful small business owners know how to make that happen. They use productivity tools to keep track of workload and ensure that everything gets done on time.
2. Goal Oriented
It’s all well and good to be creative and come up with dozens of different projects and services that might make a difference to various market segments, but without an ability to set goals, create steps to meet those goals, and complete those steps in order, a business can’t thrive. Great small business owners know how to create SMART goals and get their work done so that it can be shipped and make a difference in the world.
Great small business owners need to have faith in their ability to make decisions and make the right decisions more often than not. Many business decisions are time sensitive; if you delay, you can miss business opportunities, cause slowdowns in various products and services delivery windows, and even cause serious problems for your company.
Small business owners that succeed over time know how to quickly solicit crucial input, and then make the best decision possible with the information they have available.
4. Financially Savvy
Businesses run on budgets; more than a few businesses fold within their first year because their cash flow dries up. Great business owners know how to make a budget they can stick to which also lets their business grow and adapt to changing marketplace circumstances.
Business budgets aren’t the same as household budgets; companies need to consider factors like taxes, payroll, and inventory investments. But business budgets are still necessary and crucial to keeping a company running over time. Strong business owners know how to look over their small business finances and have a good idea of whether they’re over or underspending, whether they need to raise more capital, or if they need to curb spending somewhere it is inessential.
Businesses have setbacks. No product ships in precisely the same design that was originally created. No business thrives without a few obstacles to overcome. That’s just how business works. Strong business owners instinctively know how to turn those obstacles into opportunities, or at least how to ride the wave until it stabilizes. If a business idea doesn’t work out the way the owner hoped, great owners know how to take their experience and use it to develop the next big idea.
Business owners don’t have time to hem and haw over important decisions, but they also don’t have time to worry about whether or not they made the right choice. Which is not to say that business owners are rash; they make decisions that are careful and considered, but they make them with conviction.
Once they are made, they don’t spend time worrying about whether or not the decision was correct. They track data, make sure the company is headed in the right direction, and if a new decision needs to be made, they make that one.
Not every small business owner needs to be the life of every party, but a strong business owner is aware of how to operate socially, can hold their own at a Chamber of Commerce mixer, and can give a speech to a small group of their peers. They can speak to investors or financiers about funding for their business, and make sure that customers are satisfied with their service.
A basic understanding of social marketing and how to operate in those settings helps companies and small business owners get stronger over time.
The good news is that few of these skills are inherent, and all of them can be improved with practice and time. If you struggle to be comfortable in social situations, take a public speaking class at your local community college. If you are bad at finances, work with a mentor who understands budgeting. If you need help making decisions, practice with pro and con lists in non-crucial situations to get used to the necessary thought processes.
If you have a great business idea, the next step is to become a great small business owner and see your idea develop.